The New Zealand horse Prince of Penzance, ridden by Michelle Payne, won the 155th Melbourne Cup in front of 100,000 spectators at Flemington Race Track.
The race started at modest pace with Big Orange leading for most of the race. On the final turn Trip to Paris, Criterion and Max Dynamite were leading. But Prince of Penzance powered through the line to won the richest prize in Australian horse racing, making Michelle Payne, pictured, the first female jockey to win the Cup. Michelle’s brother Stevie, who has Down Syndrome, is Prince of Penzance’s strapper and picked the barrier for his sister. The win was also a first for trainer Darren Weir.
Prince of Penzance paid handsome returns for backers at odds of 101 to 1. Favourite Fame Game was second and Trip to Paris third. Jockey Jim Cassidy had his final race of a long and stellar career on Grand Marshall.
But amid the celebrations there was catastrophe too. Red Cadeaux, which had run second three times in a row, broke down near the finish. The horse was rushed to a veterinary hospital where surgeons were able to splint and stabilise the leg. The prognosis is reported to be good but Red Cadeaux will never race again. – Jesse Mullens